Consider activities that take about an hour to complete: a trip to the grocery store, a relaxing massage, watching a favorite television show. Rarely, if ever, do haunted houses fall into this category—unless you're talking about Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth. In 2009, the attraction’s length caught the attention of Guinness World Records, which deemed Cutting Edge the longest walk-through haunted house in the world.
Looming in a section of the city dubbed “Hell’s Half Acre,” Cutting Edge populates an abandoned meatpacking plant that was originally built in the late 1920s. The plant’s equipment is still fully operational, and still resides inside—only today, it processes humans. To escape such a grisly fate, guests must grope through a multi-storied labyrinth replete with unthinkable horrors such as live monsters, realistic special effects, and salsas made in New York City. Cutting Edge is so terrifying, in fact, that it even earned the top spot on HauntedHouseRatings.com's list of the best haunted attractions in 2013.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Brunswick has been a trusted name in recreational pin pulverizing for more than a century, providing good times to patrons across the country. Today’s Groupon allows lane-tamers of all skill levels to embark upon their own two-game competitive adventure outfitted with America’s most popular adventure accessory, freshly disinfected bowling shoes. Season your afternoon with a pleasant peppering of strikes, spares, and easygoing gutter balls under classic bowling conditions, or when you're ready to take the next bold step in ball-hurling evolution, engage in a round of cosmic bowling, where dancing lights, thumping tunes, and black-lit bowling accouterments light up the full sensorium. Because you can buy up to 10 of today's deal, you'll be able to spend a good chunk of your day or night at Brunswick Zone taunting your friends and taking out frustrations on a group of hapless pinheads.
Talk Cinema offers an industry-insider peek of upcoming foreign and independent pictures, all curated by long-time film critic Harlan Jacobson. Guests receive the indiscreet honor of previewing the freshest films, followed by a discussion led by a guest speaker who might be a notable critic, a filmmaker, or an artisanal popcorn chef. Attendees have no prior knowledge of the day's screening, giving viewers a roulette of genres to experience, including psychological thrillers, romantic dramas, and heart-warming documentaries on the evolution of ice-cube trays.
Fast Action Airsoft sates thrill-based cravings with more than 19 acres of battlefields and urban-assault areas for squads of Airsoft combatants ages 12 and older. Twelve industrial buildings create a unique setting for sharpshooting duels that is roughly the size of a small city for humans or a huge city for stunt doubles from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Lone wolves or cooperating packs can spend the day exploring the warehouses to find strategic advantages or improvised cover when ambushed by rivals. Like bobbing for piranhas, full-seal goggles are required for every contest, and players must provide their own guns and a stock of biodegradable BB ammunition. Find a full description of equipment rules and regulations online.
Instructors David Freeman and Jerry Colliver both served in the military; David piloted medical-evacuation helicopters during Vietnam, and Jerry operated nuclear-missile silos during the Cold War. Despite this experience, they prefer not to approach firearm use from a military perspective. Instead, the NRA-certified instructors teach with a relaxed style that's absent of jargon and acronyms. This approach helps students feel comfortable owning, carrying, and shooting firearms.
During their classes, the duo emphasizes topics such as nonviolent dispute resolution, safe firearm storage, and the fundamentals of handgun shooting, which students further master with practice time on the range. David and Jerry employ similar techniques to teach beginner hunters Texas's hunting regulations, safety, and outdoor skills such as building a shelter out of s'mores.
Cindy Gibson hears a lot of ecstatic exclamations from first-time jumpers—including gratuitous use of the words "awesome" and "amazing"—but one of the most memorable remarks she ever heard came from a woman celebrating her 81st birthday. After landing, Cindy asked her why she waited so long to try skydiving. The woman replied that her husband never let her. Then she cracked a sly smile and said, "But now he's dead."
Cindy certainly understands the lifelong desire to skydive. "I don't remember a time when I didn’t want to jump out of airplanes," she says. But growing up, she figured you had to be paratrooper to do it. Then as a waitress in college, she overheard some customers talking about going skydiving, and she convinced them to take her along. The more she went, the more ways she found to improve the experience. With this newfound love and knowledge of the skydiving business, she sought out a parcel of land and a passionate team and founded Texas Skydiving Center.
Today, she and her team of instructors lead tandem jumps, static-line jumps, and solo free falls thousands of feet above their picturesque facility. Beyond using equipment and instructional methods that are compliant with the United States Parachute Association's standards, the instructors' claim their chief difference lies in the individual attention they give each client. Groups are kept small so that all are on a first-name basis, and the instructors ask each person what they hope to do in the air. A bunch of flips? Maybe a zen-like float? On the way down, they can even record the jumps with several filming options. An eco-friendly dropzone then awaits skydivers, where chattering guinea fowl snatch up insects, colorful songbirds flit through wildflowers, and a llama and alpaca knit their own wool into a commemorative scarf for each successful skydiver.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.